Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 360
This quote is part of the foundational myth of the Crakers, a story that Snowman-the-Jimmy tells them every evening and which they then ask Toby to recite in MaddAddam (since Toby is unconscious):
In the beginning you lived inside the Egg. That is where Crake made you.
Yes, good, kind Crake. Please stop singing or I can’t go on with the story.
The Egg was big and round and white, like half a bubble, and there were trees inside it with leaves and grass and berries. All the things you like to eat.
Yes, it rained inside the Egg.
No, there was not any thunder.
Because Crake did not want any thunder inside the Egg.
The Crakers are very simple and gullible and believe this story without further question. The absurdity of the tale serves to highlight the simplicity of their natures.
Atwood's language here mirrors the bleak post-apocalyptic landscape described in the MaddAddam trilogy:
They set out the next morning just at sunrise. The vultures that top the taller, deader trees are spreading their black wings so the dew on them will evaporate; they’re waiting for the thermals to help them lift and spiral. Crows are passing the rumours, one rough syllable at a time.
This is Toby reflecting on the Painballers, but also on people in general. This can also be seen as Atwood's comment on humanity:
But hatred and viciousness are addictive. You can get high on them. Once you've had a little, you start shaking if you don't get more.
In this quote, Toby imagines telling the Crakers about a scar; in this imaginary dialogue, she realizes that it would be nearly impossible for her to do so without having to explain a range of other ideas and concepts that the Crakers are unfamiliar with:
"I have scars, inside me,” but she stops herself. What is a scar, Oh Toby? That would be the next question. Then she’d have to explain what a scar is. A scar is like writing on your body. It tells about something that once happened to you, such as a cut on your skin where blood came out.
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